Published 30th June 2016

Are online TEFL courses recognised?

tudying is an investment and whether you decide to study in the traditional classroom or in an online classroom, you need to consider whether you have the time and the money to dedicate to the course. Obviously you don’t want to waste your hard-earned cash on a course which is not going to give you want you want or live up to your expectations, or which won’t keep you interested and motivated enough to complete the course. Basically, if you are thinking about doing a TEFL course, the ultimate goal is to find a job, so what this means is that you need to make sure you do a TEFL course which will give you the right qualification to get a job. Which brings us to the next question:

Are online TEFL courses recognised?

To be quite honest, you could ask that same question of any TEFL course, regardless of whether or not it’s online. Teaching English as Foreign Language is a huge industry and consequently there are hundreds of different TEFL courses you could take. In theory, they all lead to a TEFL certificate but in practice the courses can differ greatly, so then we can’t really expect them to lead to the same qualification. Yet they do; there is only one TEFL qualification.

So how do we know if an online TEFL course is recognised?

To solve this problem, what happens is that TEFL courses can get accredited. Independent organisations evaluate a TEFL course and decide whether or not to award accreditation. The same is true of face-to-face TEFL courses and online TEFL courses. Have a look at the website and the accreditation awards should be clearly visible somewhere.

Does accreditation mean that it’s recognised?

Basically, yes. TEFL employers will look at two things when they consider your TEFL qualification: the institution that you got it from and what the course involved. The reputation of your TEFL school is very important in this regard because employers know which schools deliver quality courses and which don’t – even online courses. This reputation is grounded in their accreditation. In terms of content, employers look to see if your TEFL course covered all the important aspects of TEFL and to make sure it’s at least 120 hours. The scope of TEFL is huge, so it would be unlikely that you would be able to complete a complete a quality TEFL course in less than 12 hours.

These days, online TEFL courses are just as recognised as bricks-and-mortar TEFL courses. It makes no difference how, where or when you did the course so long as your course was from an accredited school or institution, it was of adequate length and you achieved an adequate grade.